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Chinese intelligence officials accused of stealing space secrets

October 31, 2018 US 1 Views WASHINGTON – Intelligence officials at a small office in China's major intelligence collections network…

WASHINGTON – Intelligence officials at a small office in China’s major intelligence collections network in years of stalemasonies from the aviation industry in the United States and abroad, officials of the Justice Department said on Tuesday to abolish the third charge in recent weeks as detailed China’s elaborate efforts to steal corporate secrets through espionage and hacking.

Two Chinese intelligence officials and five hackers repeatedly entered computer systems to steal intellectual property rights and other information about the aviation industry, according to the accusation, which had been under seal since June.

From January 2010 to May 2015, they stole turbofan engine plans and other confidential business information from 13 companies, according to court documents. They included Capstone Turbine, a gas turbine producer based in Los Angeles, and other reputable companies in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon and Wisconsin and abroad in Great Britain, France and Australia.

A Chinese state-owned airline developed a comparable commercial aircraft engine, the government said.

The officers worked in the Jiangsu province office at the Ministry of State Security, China’s premier domestic and foreign intelligence agency. That office was also the core of the other two recent cases with China’s efforts to steal information from the US aviation industry.

China has long pilfered US corporate, academic and military information to strengthen its position in the world economy and three cases show the prosecution’s continued decomposition of China’s efforts to steal corporate data for China’s commercial gain, Adam L. Braverman, United States Southern Attorney District of California, said in a statement.

“The concerted effort to steal, rather than just buying, commercially available products should support any company that invests talent, energy and shareholder money in the development of products,” he said.

This month was Yanjun Xu, a deputy head of division at the office with trying to steal secrets from GE Aviation. Mr Xu was arrested in Belgium in April, about a year after he began grooming a GE employee to receive and deliver business secrets, prosecutors said. The case was the first time a Chinese intelligence official was handed over to the United States for trial in the federal court.

In September, Ji Chaoqun, a US Army Reservist from China, arrested charges that he secretly provided information about airline employees after meeting Chinese intelligence officials from the Jiangsu office in 2013. One of the officers arrested in April was Xu, according to a US official who was informed of the investigation.

The information provided by Ji Ji would have been used in the Chinese government’s efforts to recruit the employees as informants, the Justice Department said.

The accusation revealed Tuesday accused the two intelligence officials, Zha Rong and Chai Meng, and other constituents in Jiangsu’s office for working with hackers to steal turbofan technology used in US and European commercial aircraft. They also accused them of working with two employees in a Jiangsu provinces office for the aforementioned French space industry, Gu Gen and Tian Xi, who had been recruited to serve as spies by Chinese intelligence officials.

A hacker – Zhang Zhang-Gui, Liu Chunliang, Gao Hong Kun, Zhuang Xiaowei and Ma Zhiqi.

An unidentified American company and the French manufacturer supervised the turbofan engine project, according to court documents. – Also filtered other companies that made turbofan jet engine parts, prosecutors prosecuted and hired a global network of servers to conceal their movements.

The hackers sent spearphishing emails to the company’s employees and planted malicious code in corporate networks, according to the accusation. They also brought their corporate websites to malicious websites that would endanger the computers of anyone who visited them, law enforcement officials said.

From November 2013 to February 2014, they also recruited Mr. Tian and Gu, employees at the French airline’s Chinese office, to work with Chinese intelligence officials, according to the accusation.

Mr. Tian planted malicious software in his employer’s computer system for Chinese intelligence officials, according to court documents.

Mr. Gu, his office director of information technology and security, told Chinese intelligence officials that law enforcement officials had noticed the presence of malicious code in the company’s system, prosecuted prosecutors. The warning gave the conspirators the opportunity to try to hide their identities.

Mr. Zhang was also charged in a separate case claiming that he and another Chinese citizen used some of the stolen information for his own criminal order. The Department of Justice intends to bring more such corporate deaths, “said John C. Demers, Head of the National Security Department at the Office.


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